Yang, Gene Luen

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Baker & Taylor
A graphically rendered account of China's Boxer Rebellion in 1898 is told from the perspective of Little Bao, who joins an army of kung fu-trained commoners who fight for freedom from the oppression inflicted by foreign missionaries and soldiers. By the creator of the National Book Award finalist, American Born Chinese. Original.

McMillan Palgrave
China,1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.

Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers - commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from "foreign devils."

Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of "secondary devils" - Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity.


Boxers & Saints
is an innovative new graphic novel in two volumes - the parallel stories of two young people caught up on opposite sides of a violent rift. American Born Chinese author Gene Luen Yang brings his clear-eyed storytelling and trademark magical realism to the complexities of the Boxer Rebellion and lays bare the foundations of extremism, rebellion, and faith.


Discover the other side of the Boxer Rebellion in Saints - the companion volume to Boxers.

& Taylor

In 1898 China, Little Bao has had enough of foreign missionaries and soldiers robbing peasants, and he recruits an army of Boxers to fight to free China from its oppressors.

Publisher: New York :, First Second,, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781596433595
Branch Call Number: GRAPHIC GN FIC Y
Characteristics: 328 pages : chiefly color illustratons ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Pien, Lark


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Feb 21, 2015
  • KingSalomon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A very good and powerful insight on the Catholic martyrs in China. Highly recommended!

Jun 24, 2014
  • LibraryK8 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Longer than Saints, this book feels fuller and richer than it's companion novel. Bao's character is well rounded, as we watch him grow from a helpless boy into a man teetering on the edge of self-doubt. The drawing style is simple and compelling, with a careful use of color (especially for the Chinese gods) to draw the reader's eye. An interesting look at a conflict often overlooked by American schools.

Apr 24, 2014
  • CRRL_CraigGraziano rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Boxers & Saints are a masterful pair of graphic novels that offer perspective on both sides of China's Boxer Rebellion, a decade long struggle that I am ashamed to say I knew nothing about. The struggle hinged upon the arrival of Europeans who brought Christianity to the Chinese along with an unfortunate dose of subjugation.

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Mar 08, 2014

Wow! This is one beautiful story. I loved the place of myth here and was really interested in the perspective given on the impact of imperial presence. Very neat. An absolute must read!

Mar 03, 2014
  • mvkramer rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I liked that this book and its companion volume "Saints" showed the human side of people on both sides of the Boxer Rebellion- a boy who fights to protect China from foreign influences and a girl who becomes a Christian to find a belonging she lacks in her family. The story never resorted to false equivalency, however - Bao's actions are definitely wrong, despite his understandable motives. Read if you're a history buff, or if you just like a good story.

Feb 26, 2014
  • Cynthia_N rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Wonderful way to introduce someone to the basics of the Boxer Rebellion. Definitely read with the companion book Saints. I hope to see more books like these two.

Feb 23, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I may come back to this once I read "Saints" as well but standing on its own it's a great story. The art is bright and colourful and the magical realism is seamless with this story of rebellion against Christian foreigners. I love how we track the passage of time and how the upbringing and situation of our main character reflects how he acts and what he believes. Must be read with "Saint" too, for sure. The two are just tied too close together.

Feb 19, 2014
  • bioshock1998 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

tells the story of the boxer rebellion from the chinese perspective. Its awsome and will keep you wanting more.

Jan 06, 2014
  • naguiar rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

While the story proved interesting at best, it missed out on quite a few important things. The characters were simple and shallow, and far too much emphasis was placed on the 'opera gods' of it all rather than the actual history of the Boxer Rebellion. I found the main character extremely unlikable and unsympathetic. Even when they attempted to make the main character more human by displaying his reluctance to killing women, all I saw was his sexist view of women as weaker than men.

Jan 05, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I've been sitting on this review for a couple of days waiting for a muse, and haven't been able to find inspiration. It was a perfectly good read--high quality, fascinating story, engaging storytelling, compelling character development, impeccable illustrations--but for whatever reason I can't get myself excited to talk about it. Regardless, I'm very glad to have read it and recommend it to others.
I do have to admit some disappointment with volume #2. After finishing Boxers I was really looking forward to gaining more insight into Bao's story from another perspective in Saints, and instead ended up not enjoying the second story as much. So 4 stars for #1, 3.5 stars for #2.

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Nov 07, 2013
  • KingSalomon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: referring to drinking mentstrual blood

Nov 07, 2013
  • KingSalomon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Violence: slashing cutting and a lot of blood


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Oct 11, 2013
  • KingSalomon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

KingSalomon thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Jun 24, 2014
  • LibraryK8 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The companion novel to Saints, this book looks at the same situation from a different angle. Little Bao has grown up reenacting his favorite Chinese operas and looking up to his father. When his father is hobbled by European colonists, Bao's older brothers take over the family, relegating Bao to the role of little brother. In secret he trains with a martial arts master, and quickly out paces his brothers. When colonists threaten his small village, Bao harnesses the power of an ancient Chinese emperor to fight against them.

Sharing the secret of his martial arts training, Bao gathers and army of Boxers (including his brothers) to use the power of the Chinese gods to drive the colonists and "foreign devils" from China. As the Boxers travel to the capitol city to convince the Empress to free their country, they meet several challenges along the way testing their faith and fortitude. By the end of the book, Bao and Vibianain's stories cross paths to end in tragedy.


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